There’s a ton of wrestling content nowadays and unless you’re a hardcore pro-graps fan, you have to decide what to watch when and what to consider leaving out. That’s where we come in to help.
Every week, we are going to run down the big in-ring happenings for the easily accessible US wrestling. This won’t cover your indie needs, but ReverendClaire always has you covered in her weekly Sermon on the Mat for that.
Bear in mind, matches could be added after this posts that would definitely change how worth a show is to watch.
Raw (USA Network)
This is the go-home show for the Backlash pay-per-view (PPV).
Now with the Greatest Royal Rumble/Greatest House Show in the books, they can move forward with the stories they were planning.
While nothing is advertised for Raw, I think the most interesting thing to watch for is what is next for Roman Reigns. The Big Dog was unsuccessful against Lesnar yet again in Saudi Arabia.
Roman has a fight against Samoa Joe at Backlash. Is this it in regards to Reigns in the title picture? For my money, that’s the most interesting thing coming into this episode.
Verdict: The Reigns stuff is the most interesting, but I felt Raw did a good job last week utilizing their new roster. Those things together makes this an interesting Raw to check out.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
Nothing from the Greatest Royal Rumble really affected the blue brand.
Nakamura vs. AJ Styles ended in a double count out so they’ll do it again at Backlash. More chances for Nak to crush Styles’ balls!
Big Cass eliminated Daniel Bryan from the Greatest Rumble, where DBry was the Iron man and in the final three. They were already set for Backlash.
Verdict: SmackDown had a fine show last Tuesday as well, though doesn’t have the hook that Raw does with the Reigns loss fallout. Will likely be a solid show though.
205 Live (WWE Network)
Cedric Alexander fended off Kalisto in Jeddah two days ago. What’s next for the cruiserweight champion.
Nothing is yet advertised, but that will likely be the focus of this show.
Verdict: In ring action still delivers on this show, but since the tournament, episodes feel a bit more lost.
NXT (WWE Network)
This week’s big match is Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong. It will be the first time that they are in the same building since Strong stabbed Dunne in the back to join the Undisputed ERA at TakeOver: New Orleans.
Other matches we’ll see are Bianca Belair vs. Candice LeRae and TM61 vs. the Street Profits.
Verdict: Personally, I’m really excited to see Dunne get his hands on Strong. I was hoping we’d see him ambush him unannounced first, but this will be fine. Maybe it’ll set up a British Strong Style vs. Undisputed ERA thing. If you loved the angle as much as I did, it’s one to watch.
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestling Dontaku Night 1 (NJPW World)
The esteemed Reverend Claire described this two night event as “medium sized” shows when it comes to the importance of NJPW events. She notes due to the main event of night two, this round has a bit more impact.
Night one, which will air very early in the US, is focused on the Bullet Club issues. While most of the matches are tag matches, as is New Japan’s style, the two top matches on the card are singles BC/Golden Lovers issues.
In a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom, Kota Ibushi will take on Cody. And in the main event, Kenny Omega will battle Hangman Page.
This is the first time we’ll see these guys on the same card since Cody went over Kenny at Supercard of Honor.
Verdict: The Bullet Club stuff should be interesting. I never watch all the tags in these shows but will probably check out the two single’s matches in the card if I find time.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
This week is advertising Su Yung vs. Rosemary as this top match.
Also, Matt Sydal will defend his X Division title against Taiji Ishimori.
The world title picture has Pentagon as champ, Austin Aries, who is owned a rematch but still nursing his arm after Pentagon broke it, and Eli Drake who holds the world title Feast or Fired briefcase.
Verdict: It feels like Impact is on a bit of an upswing so they’re worth at least keeping an eye on.
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestling Dontaku Night 2 (NJPW World)
Night two is the bigger of the two shows just given the main event.
Kazuchika Okada will defend his IWGP heavyweight title against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
In the other single’s match, Will Ospreay defends his junior heavyweight title against KUSHIDA.
Verdict: If you’re going to watch one night, it’d probably be this one. The Okada/Tanahashi main event is something to check out. Though some fans may enjoy the Bullet Club drama more than anything else. For those people, it’s night one.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
Only because I really want to know how they handle Reigns now that Brock is in his rearview mirror. Is he in the rearview mirror? Or is this just a long path to get there at a later date? Either way, seeing Roman drop two in a row against Brock was quite the surprise. I’m very curious how he’s presented on Monday.
Let us know what you’d choose below.
There’s a ton of other wrestling out there and we can’t cover it all on here. So if there’s something you’re particularly excited for this week, let your fellow wrestling fans know in the comments.
See ya next week!